Is Physics Harder Than Further Maths?

By Ishika S.

21 February, 2024

Comparing the difficulty between physics and further mathematics is subjective and depends on various factors such as individual aptitude, prior knowledge, and learning preferences. Both subjects offer unique challenges and require different sets of skills for mastery.


Here are four reasons why some may perceive physics to be harder than further mathematics:

1. Conceptual Understanding and Application:

Physics involves the study of natural phenomena, requiring a deep conceptual understanding of fundamental principles such as mechanics, electromagnetism, and thermodynamics. These concepts often have real-world applications and require students to apply theoretical knowledge to solve complex problems. Further mathematics, while also conceptual, may focus more on abstract mathematical structures and proofs, which some students find more accessible than applying physics principles to real-world scenarios.

Physics frequently utilizes mathematical tools such as calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra to describe and analyze physical phenomena. The application of advanced mathematical concepts in physics requires a high level of mathematical rigor and problem-solving skills. Further mathematics, on the other hand, delves deeper into mathematical theory and abstraction, which can be challenging for students who struggle with abstract reasoning and mathematical formalism.

2. Mathematical Rigor and Complexity:

Physics often relies on experimental verification and empirical observation to validate theoretical models and hypotheses. Conducting experiments, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions from observations require critical thinking skills and practical knowledge of experimental techniques. Further mathematics, while rigorous and abstract, may not involve the same level of empirical verification and experimentation as physics, making it more accessible to some students.

3. Experimental Verification and Empirical Observation:

4. Interdisciplinary Nature and Multifaceted Challenges:

Physics is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing upon principles from mathematics, chemistry, and other natural sciences. The interdisciplinary nature of physics introduces additional complexities and challenges, as students need to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines to understand and solve problems. Further mathematics, while also interdisciplinary in its applications, may offer a more focused and structured approach to problem-solving within the realm of mathematics.

While both physics and further mathematics present their own set of challenges, the perception of difficulty varies among individuals based on their strengths, interests, and learning styles. Physics may be perceived as harder than further mathematics due to its emphasis on conceptual understanding, mathematical rigor, experimental verification, and interdisciplinary nature.